Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Mara was in an accident with three of her friends, and she's the only one who survived, with hardly a scratch on her.  Mara can't remember what happened, or why she would have been in that old building in the first place.  To give Mara a fresh start, her family has moved from Rhode Island to Florida.  As Mara begins to remember the accident, she starts to fear that she's the reason her friends are dead.  Mara gets involved with a boy named Noah, who could help her make sense of everything.

I didn't expect to like this.  The blurb on the back gave me an immediate "eh" reaction.  "Oh another supernaturally romance.  Whatever."  And when it started out and Noah was acting like a gigantic asshole and yet Mara was drawn to him, like you are in a supernatural romance, I felt like all my assumptions were confirmed.  But then it got kind of good. 

The real reason I enjoyed this was Mara herself.  I kind of loved her.  She was incredibly snarky and funny and I loved it.  Even when she's scared and frustrated and thinks quite possibly she's going crazy, she had a sense of humor that I really liked and appreciated.  This made me even more annoyed though when she started falling for Noah, who was acting like a total jerk.  You're so much better than that Mara!  But then we did actually get to know more about Noah and that made it a bit better, although still, he didn't have to act like an asshole.

Spoiler ahead.

So Mara keeps having these visions.  She's been told it's posttraumatic stress.  She keeps seeing her dead friends everywhere.  In mirrors, walking down the halls of her school.  Then she starts having dreams, and each time she dreams, she remembers a little bit more about the night her friends died.  At the same time this is going on, Mara begins to be afraid of herself.  She pictures a man who abused his dog dying, and then he does die, the exact way Mara pictured it.  Her Spanish teacher failed her intentionally and lied about it, and Mara thinks about her choking on her tongue, and then it happens.  She's not sure what's real any more or what's happening to her.

Noah, it turns out, has abilities of his own.  They're the opposite of Mara's in a way.  He heals.  He also has visions sometimes, of people in pain.  He saw Mara before he ever met her.  Seeing her made him realize that the visions were real, and that the people he saw where people he needed to find and try to save.  Noah desperately wants to help Mara, to "heal" her somehow, or to be able to stop her when he feels she's going to cause destruction.  But when he can't, he feels guilty, and Mara doesn't want that.

The book ends on a very dramatic cliffhanger, with Mara realizing one of the people who supposedly died in the building isn't dead at all.  It's Jude, her ex-boyfriend who tried to rape her that night.  I'd really like to see where this series goes.

One thing, while the cover is very striking, I'm unsure how it really relates to the book. 

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer will be available September 27.

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